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The Fun Factor

photo: Paolo Marchesi

I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized I’ve ridden in some really, really fun bike races. They weren’t just the ones where I felt good or enjoyed good weather either- fun races often come when you least expect them. Like when the conditions are comically bad, or when you feel so horrible that you can barely function.

Sure, some fun races end in victory, but more often they end in the coughing of blood, or a broken bike, or a broken body. The one thing every fun race shares is change; with every finish you become a slightly different person than the one who lined up to start. Fun races are why we do this sport.

Sea Otter was not a fun race. It was a lot of things- sunny, short, spectator-friendly, riddled with poison oak- but it was not, by any stretch of the imagination, the sort of race that pushes personal limits. It was a fat-tire race with a skinny-tire soul, starting and finishing on pavement with not a lot of mountain in between for redemption. Unfortunately I left my road tactics (and apparently my will to race) back in 2009.

Afterwards I went to Bubba Gump with my ceaselessly supportive and awesome relatives, stopped by the Crown and Anchor (does this make it an annual tradition?) to catch up with some friends, then un-soberly packed up my bike at around 4AM. Back to the land of the Ice and Snow- literally. We got 18 inches that night.

I went on another frigid, solo ride a few days later and suddenly realized a bunch of things all at once.

  1. Racing spectator-friendly courses is not fun.
  2. Training in the snow is not fun.
  3. Training, traveling, and racing alone is not fun.
  4. Not being able to ski, climb, or camp is not fun.
  5. If I don’t start having fun riding again, I may never ride again, period.

Big changes are in the works. Images of the interim:

Pow Wow:

Mo’s Trunk Show:

A Trail Meeting

Elkhorn Shenanigans

2 Comments

    • lydiatanner says

      Nope… I was signed up, had bought the tickets and paid the entry, but they were angry I was missing the meeting and dirt crit (two days before the actual race) and wanted to start me 8min back or not at all. I chose not at all.

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